I had never seen anything like Wammy's house before. It looked like a stately mansion. We pulled into the rounded drive and a single boy was seated on the stone stair handles leading up to the front doors. He had red locks and what looked like big bulgy red orange eyes. Well, I dust wanted to tick Matt off. I couldn't really see his eyes because of the gamer goggles on his face. He had a handheld and was avidly playing it. He was in electric yellow pajamas. I soon found out that everyone in Wammy's house wore the pajama like clothes in one colour or another.
"Good morning, Matt." Mr. Roger said as we approached. Matt reluctantly drew his gaze from his game and lifted his goggles to peer at the both of us. His newly revealed bright green eyes caught mine and froze for a moment, then turned back to Mr. Roger.
"This him?" He grunted. Mr. Roger nodded.
"Will you be so kind as to show him around? You can stop his trickery a bit better than I can." Matt shrugged and beckoned me to follow him up the stairs and into the building. He lowered the goggles back over his eyes, and continued leading me through the house doors without so much as a glance up from his game.
He pointed to his left at a set of double doors that were shut.
"That's where the high priority kids are." He paused his game and opened the set of doors. At the top of his voice he yelled, "Morning, Sahara!" The girl in the center of the unfathomable large room that was perched precariously on one hand toppled to the ground at the sudden noise. She scrambled up quickly and flicked long strands of black hair out of dark amber eyes with golden fingers. She looked almost Egyptian to me. The glare just made my suspicion greater.
She ran full force at Matt, attempting to get him back for startling her. Unfortunately, I was not used to the ways of the students at Wammy's house, and I happened to be standing right next to the worst trouble maker in the whole school.
Matt grabbed onto my shoulders and dragged me in front of him. Sahara was to close to stop now and she plowed straight into me. We fell to the ground in a heap and I will still to this day swear that the tiny Egyptian girl was growling. Matt was laughing so hard, he could hardly get the introductions out.
"Sahara… this is… um…did Roger give you a name, dude?" I'm pretty sure that's what he said. By this time the uncontrollable anger that plagues me was so built up that I hardly noticed him speaking. I jumped straight at him, and without another sucker to drag in front of him, the gamer boy was helpless. I tackled him to the ground and drove my knee into his chest. Trust me, letting a volatile five year old learn to be a black belt was the worst decision my mother ever made. The wind was knocked out of Matt, but he soon recovered from that. I guess I should have realized that Matt was bigger than me. I was still pretty small for an eleven year old. He smothered my face with one hand and drove me backwards off of him and slammed my head into the ground. I knew he was bigger than me, but that doesn't mean I quit fighting. I bit down as hard as I could on the soft flesh between his thumb and index finger. He cried out and ripped his hand away, scrambling off me. He shook his hand vigorously to ease the pain and the blood I'd surface splattered all over the white pajamas of a little boy that had walked into the room. He didn't react at all to the scene or the gore on his clothes. Then again, neither did the white eyed girl with him. Well, that's because she was blind, but I didn't know that at the time.
The boy coiled a lock of white hair around his finger and slipped past us to sit awkwardly on the floor. He dumped a pile of puzzle pieces on the cherry wood floors and began putting the puzzle together. The odd thing was that the puzzle was all white. I think my catholic side was what drove me to hate him so. What did he think he was, the serine angel of God?
Matt scoffed at the two and drew back his fist to hit me, but he was hit square in the jaw by Sahara. Matt went limp and just backed away, sucking gingerly at the wound on his hand. Sahara laughed and sat down on the arm of the chair he was seated in and fooled with his red locks of hair with a bemused smile on her face. Yes, she did have a crush on Matt at the time, but that changed. Sahara was smart, remember that.
"Looks like you've finally met your match, eh Matt?" she said. That was the first time I saw him. L.
He entered the room with his hunched posture, shadowed eyes, and bare feet. I thought he was just a lost orphan who heard the noise. He looked around the room and his eyes froze on the boy with the puzzle. All I kept thinking was, 'He wasn't even involved in any of this. I'm the freaky new kid who just beat Matt, why wasn't I acknowledged? What made puzzle boy so great? He was only like four.' He approached the boy and picked at his sleeve curiously with two fingers.
"Near," he asked quietly, "Why is there blood on your shirt?" The child responded by pointing to the invalid Matt without looking up from his puzzle. That gesture alone made my blood boil. It was like I wasn't even there. Of course, this was before I found out that you had to be part of them, and I wasn't at the time.
Mr. Roger came around the corner into the room, a vein pulsing in his head. Later, I was told that Mr. Roger was patient. I think Matt and I were the only ones who were able to get that tick going in hid head.
"Matt, Mello, what have you two done?" He asked in a outrage. A little girl at his arm was undoubtedly the one who had seen the fight and run off to tattle. I used to love hitting that little prat in the face with foot balls. (If you don't live in Europe than a football is a Soccer ball.) The teen next to Near pressed his thumb to his lips and studied my thoroughly.
"If he has an alias, that must mean he has been tested, correct, Mr. Roger?"
"Yes." Mr. Roger responded, looking from the teen to the elderly man that had accompanied him.
"And his scores?"
"His mental faculties are young, but he shows signs of vast improvement." The teen smiled at me.
"Well, then, we should make sure he improves, shouldn't we, Mr. Roger?" Mr. Roger agreed and dabbed at his sweaty forehead with a monogrammed kerchief the man at his side had handed him. It had a gothic style W on it.
"Good. Near, it's time for your annual examination."
"Yes, L." Near rose to his feet to follow the teen out of the room, but turned back and looked at me for the first time. I swear the universe around him crackles and disintegrates when he looks at someone that way. He has no expression on his face, yet you can tell he's thinking of every little thing. He freaked me out. Well, this entire school freaked me out, but that's the point, right? He looked dead at me. "Welcome to the competition, Mello." He said in that monotone voice and grabbed L's outstretched hand.
The blind girl smiled lightly and Sahara rounded on her.
"What are you so happy about, Oasis?" Oasis didn't look any older than Near and had olive skin and dark curls. Her smile merely grew wider.
"Things are sure to get interesting, now. Welcome, Mello." Trust me, that voice scared the shit out of even me. Have you ever seen those movies with the scary oracle or prophet? She was like them, only worse, because she wasn't acting. I never believed in prophets but to this day, I still don't know how she got so spot on with her predictions.
"I looked at the occupants of the room. These people were my opponents now. I didn't know what the competition was for, but I swore I wasn't going to loose. So, I would have to become friends with them. Trust was the only way to find out how to bring them down, and trust me, they were all going down. Even that little kiss ass Near. I was going to have an upper hand to Near. It seemed that the only person in this competition that trusted him was Oasis. I needed everyone to trust me in order to take them down. This meant, however, that everyone needed to think I trusted them.
"So…," Sahara asked, "Why are you so late to the running?"
"Well," I responded "My mother and I were in a car accident when I was five…" I was going to win this.